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Olivia Harris

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In the past, debutante balls were opportunities for introducing noble daughters to high society. Photographer Olivia Harris discovers what London’s Queen Charlotte’s Ball means to the young girls of today.

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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include a fiery Spanish festival, a frightening encounter with a leopard in India, a flamingo undergoing laser treatment, a new species named in honor of entertainer Beyonce, and the plight of Ukraine's "vodka bears". These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [42 photos]

A man rides a horse through a bonfire on January 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are ridden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

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CRYING OUT
CRYING OUT: A member of a Socialist student union tried to recover from tear gas fired by police in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday. Police also used water cannons. At least 13 people were injured. Protesters demanded a budget include employment help for the nation’s youths. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press)

TAKING AIM
TAKING AIM: A police officer pointed a weapon at demonstrators in a tree as officers dismantled an Occupy Los Angeles encampment outside City Hall Wednesday. Police arrested about 200 people. (Lucy Nicholson/European Pressphoto Agency)

EASY TO SPOT
EASY TO SPOT: A red pickup truck drove past snow-covered trees in Haslett, Mich., Wednesday. Snow and slick roads caused hazardous driving conditions in parts of southern Michigan, slowing the morning commute. (Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal/Associated Press)

UP HIGH
UP HIGH: A firefighter in a cherry picker worked at the scene of a fire in Hong Kong Wednesday. Police said the ‘suspicious’ fire started in market stalls and spread to homes in the crowded neighborhood, killing nine people and injuring 34. (Aaron Tam/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

UP ON THE ROOF
UP ON THE ROOF: Police arrested an Occupy London protester on the roof of Panton House, a building used by mining company Xstrata, Wednesday. (Olivia Harris/Reuters)

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WARNING: SOME IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT OR NUDITY
From the uprisings across the Arab world to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, there was no lack of news in 2011. Reuters photographers covered the breaking news events as well as captured more intimate, personal stories. In this showcase, the photographers offer a behind the scenes account of the images that helped define the year.

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SOON TO SEE BETTER
SOON TO SEE BETTER: Elderly villagers were taken home in an ambulance Thursday after undergoing surgery for cataracts in Varanasi, India. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press)

HONORING VETERANS
HONORING VETERANS: Lloyds of London staff held their annual Remembrance Day service in London Friday. The U.S. observed Veterans Day, which is often referred to as Remembrance Day in Britain and Armistice Day elsewhere in Europe, to mark the end of World War I. (Olivia Harris/Reuters)

TAKING THE TEST
TAKING THE TEST: More than a thousand students took mid-term examinations on the playground of Sihuang Middle School Thursday in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. (Zuma Press)

LAYING DOWN THE GLOVES
LAYING DOWN THE GLOVES: Workers prepared the casket of boxing great Joe Frazier for a viewing at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Friday. The former heavyweight boxing champion died Monday at age 67 after a brief bout with liver cancer. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

HANDING OVER
HANDING OVER: Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, left, and his newly appointed successor, Lucas Papademos, met Friday in the Maximos Mansion, in Athens, Greece. Mr. Papademos named a cabinet to implement the country’s latest €130 billion ($177 billion) bailout. (Orestis Panagiotou/European Pressphoto Agency)

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The growing population of the world, now estimated to be over 7 billion, marks a global milestone and presents obvious challenges for the planet.  There are extremely densely populated cities and sparsely populated countries.  China is the most populous country with India following closely behind. This post brings together some disparate illustrations of our world as it grows, including scenes from Mong Kok district in Hong Kong, which has the highest population density in the world, with 130,000 per one square kilometer. In Mongolia, the world's least densely populated country,  2.7 million people are spread across an area three times the size of France.  Then there's Out Skerries, a tiny outcropping of rocks off the east coast of Scotland where the population is just 65.  And doing what he can to contribute to that 7 billion global milestone is Ziona, the head of a religious sect called "Chana."  He has 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren. The world is an interesting place. -- Paula Nelson  (41 photos total)
Motorists pack a junction during rush hour in Taipei in 2009. Taiwan's capital is notorious for its traffic jams, even though many motorists choose motorcycles and scooters over cars. United Nations analysts warn that population growth increases pollution, deforestation, and climate change. (Nicky Loh/Reuters)

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The United Nations estimates that in one week, on October 31, 2011, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Just 200 years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet, and over the next 150 years, that number grew to 3 billion. But in the past 50 years, the world's population has more than doubled, and it is projected to grow to 15 billion by the year 2100. As the UN points out, this increasing rate of change brings with it enormous challenges. Meeting the basic needs of so many will meaning growing, shipping, and distributing more food while providing more clean water, health care, and shelter -- all without inflicting too much further damage on our environment. [42 photos]

A baby gestures minutes after he was born inside the pediatric unit at hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on October 21, 2011. According to Honduras' health authorities, about 220,000 babies are born in Honduras each year and the cost of having a baby delivered at the public hospital is $10. (Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

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All it takes are two groups of people, one to gather and one to march past them. Parades took place across the globe these past two months for a variety of celebrations, from shows of military power, to tributes to organized labor, to pride for one’s country or culture. -- Lloyd Young (37 photos total)
Performers dance in the street parade at the annual Notting Hill Carnival in central London Aug. 29.. Revelers flocked to west London for one of Europe's biggest street parties, with record numbers of police on duty to prevent a repetition of riots that shook the British capital three weeks ago. Notting Hill Carnival, an annual celebration of Caribbean culture that usually draws about 1 million people for a colorful procession of musicians and performers. (Olivia Harris/Reuters)

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Facing unending rioting that has spread to other cities, London deployed 16,000 police in the largest show of force in the city's history. British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a holiday in Italy to return home to deal with the widening crisis. Army units are standing by to help restore order. To date, 563 people have been arrested, and over 100 police officers injured. Collected here are images of the rioting and efforts to clean up the destruction. -- Lane Turner (25 photos total)
A youth kicks the window of a jewelry store near the Bullring shopping center in Birmingham, England, as violence spreads outside London Monday evening, Aug. 8, 2011. (David Jones/PA/AP)

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